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Posted at: Dec 18, 2018, 12:14 AM; last updated: Dec 18, 2018, 6:01 PM (IST)

No glory in guns

An accidental fire; another life snuffed out in Mohali after a drinking and dancing binge. Are Punjabi songs promoting guns and violence to be blamed? We find out
No glory in guns

Mona

A live concert, an after party, a gunshot and loss of life... the alleged accidental death, while imitating a Punjabi singer at a hotel in Mohali, yet again brings to focus Punjabi songs and their influence on the audience. Is music at fault though?

While some singers limit songs to light-hearted fun like Illegal Weapon that uses hathiyar for a simile in love, others do glamorise guns and gangs. Like Sidhu Moose Wala’s latest Badfella — Hath automatic asla ni/ Dass kehra bolu saala ni. Jatt khara aa moose aala ni/ Ik mint ch kadd lau jaan kurhe... go the lyrics.  

Singer Gippy Grewal, who was friends with Sarabjit Singh, tweeted: Ki likha kuch samaj nahi auonda. Tere ton Bina zindgi guzarni pawegi Kade sochiya nahi si. Yaari ki hundi aa eh Tenu mil ke pata lagda si Waheguru Mere Veer nu apne charna vich niwaze.

Deep impact

Words are significant, believes poet Surjit Patar, who wrote — Virti jude je meri, surti hoye ekagar. Ek vaak lele tera katre se honja sagar. “A sentence can lift or mar you and that puts lyricists in a responsible position.” He reasons that educated, yet unemployed, youth that sees no future does get swayed by the glamour of guns and to set things right, we must act together. “Introducing good art, literature, music in school and colleges to government putting restrictions on blatantly violent songs is one solution,” suggests this famed writer-lyricist, who is also chairperson of the Punjab Art Council.

Clean record

Popular Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann puts the blame on all parties. “There is audience demand, so the artistes dish out violent numbers,” says the actor-singer, known for his clean, impeccable record. Twenty six years in the industry, did he never get tempted to do such a song? “Never! If I ever come to a point that I have to indulge in such music, I would stop singing,” says the Oye Hoye hitmaker, who also made his son Avkash Mann promise that he does the same. “He’s free to sing in whatever language, but there must not be any drugs or violence.”

Mature thought

Such advisory was also issued by Punjab Police earlier this year, but it has had not much of an effect it seems. “Weapons are not be flaunted, these need a certain level of maturity to handle,” says SSP, Mohali, Kuldeep Chahal. While he doesn’t deny that the recent incident could be one offshoot of glorification of guns in popular Punjabi songs, he avers, “Investigation, whether an accident or not, is on.” 

“There are all kinds of people in the industry; while some understand the sensitivity of the issue, others do not. While we can continue to raise awareness, there has to be ultimately some legal checks to stop the glorification of violence in popular culture,” he adds.

Dark alley

Singers like Pammi Bai are also against such music. “Sheer commercialism is the cause of degradation of music and no one is held accountable for such mishaps,” shares Pammi Bai. Can music really sway one to that extent? “In an ideal world, it should not. But youngsters who see no future are clashing in darkness, holding on to anything that gives even momentary reprieve,” he adds.

mona@tribunemail.com

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